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Speak the language of sales success

Liz Wendling //December 30, 2013//

Speak the language of sales success

Liz Wendling //December 30, 2013//

Remember hearing, “Watch your language” or “Don’t say that!”? Our parents said those when we used unacceptable language.  Even as adults this message still applies. As business owners and salespeople, we should always be “watching our language” in a sales situation. By carefully choosing the right words at the right time can mean the difference of sale or no sale, deal or no deal.

The words we speak make up about 7 percent of effective communication, but they’re almost always deal sealers or deal stealers. I’m not just referring to asking the right question at the right time, handling objections when they arise or knowing all the facts about your product or service.  It means not stepping on word landmines.

To become a lean, mean, selling machine means ridding yourself of the words and phrases that repel buyers.  It means freeing yourself of the language that diminishes your power and decreases your credibility. Start speaking the language of sales success.

In my sales career, I have said some stupid things on a sales call; sometimes subtle and sometimes overt. I now watch my language and train others to watch theirs as well.  I cringe when I hear salespeople use unacceptable bad language. The following language has been banned from my sales vocabulary.  So the next time one of these top statements start to come out of your mouth, stop, hold your tongue and find something better to say. 

1.) “Did I catch you at a good time?” – These days there’s no such thing as a good time to talk. The only way there will ever be a good time is when you say something relevant that piques customer’s interest. Otherwise, you will be met with a “no this is not a good time to talk.” Get in their world, know their issues and speak to their problems. Then it will always be a good time to talk.

2.) “I know you’re busy so I won’t take up much of your time.” – Yes you will. You already wasted their time with that line. You can have all the time in the world if you’re taking about their issues and problems instead of pushing your products and solutions. They may be busy but I bet they will be willing for you to take their time if you are fixing their problems.

3.) “In my opinion” – Most of the time your opinion isn’t necessary in a sales situation. Unless people ask for it, don’t give it. Sure, you can make recommendations and offer suggestions but never offer your opinion unless one is solicited. A better way of getting permission to give advice is to say something like, “Many of my clients have encountered something similar. Are you interested in the way we handled it?”

4.) “Trust me or to be honest with you”- Those are real deal killers. Statements like that give people the impression that you haven’t been completely upfront or you have something to hide. When you use phrases like that it sends a message that you’re trying to convince your customer instead of letting them discover why you’re the best option. Why should you have to tell someone to trust you or that you’re being honest. Start by being honest and displaying trust.

5.) “I’m not trying to sell you anything.” – Then what are you calling them?  That sounds phony and tacky and will result in a lost sale.  Pick up the phone, have a purpose, craft a great message and then you may be able to get to the next step and secure a meeting.  

Always be finding better ways to say things in the sales process. This bad language is a surefire way to annoy your prospect and potentially lose a sale. Watching your language will require effort on your part to ensure you are not using words and phrases that turn buyers off and lead to another lost sale.